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Chapter 129 Festival Act, The Third Match - Part 1


「Weapons are forbidden because we do not have them at this time. No attacks on vital points. No off-site attacks. You lose when you can’t get up or when you give up... Is this clear?」
「Yeah, no problem」
 
 As he answered, Chihiro did some light preparatory exercises.
 Although the nap in the student council room was short, it was effective enough. Thanks to that, he is now ready to play the game, albeit reluctantly.
 
 ...Besides, Kamishiro must be tired as well.
 
 After all, he had fought with that Kaede and lost badly.
 Moreover, he worked at a maid cafe as well. Taking these conditions into account, Chihiro might have a slight advantage.
 Anyway, he will find a clue while fighting.
 
**a
 Glance...
 
 Chihiro turned his eyes toward Aika and the others.
 All three of them are staring at Chihiro. He knew that they were worried about him without having to use his [Mind Reading] ability. He could also tell that they were keeping their mouths shut so as not to say anything.
 Marika and Yotsuba too look anxious in their own way.
 Meanwhile, Lucille seems to be rather curious.
 Come to think of it, the members of the student council may not know much about Chihiro’s relationship with Kamishiro.
 
 Maria folded her hands in front of her chest and looked at Chihiro intently.
 "Don’t worry".
 He wanted to tell her so, but unfortunately, he did not think that the fight would be so easy that he could take it easy.
 Still, he decided to do it.
 
 He stopped the preparation and took a deep breath.
 
「I’ll do the starter」
 
 Kaname said into the microphone from the stage, and Kamishiro and Chihiro nodded their heads in silence.
 They took a few steps away from each other and faced each other, waiting for the right moment.
 But then a voice came from behind him.
 
「Chihiro-kun, you don’t have to answer me, just listen to me」
 
 It was Suzu’s voice.
 Come to think of it, he couldn’t find her when he looked around earlier. He wondered where she had been, and she must have gone around the blind spot.
 Perhaps she has also activated [Cognitive Obstruction]. And she tells Chihiro, Aika, and the others, in a voice that only those connected by [Domination] can hear.
 
「It’s okay. You can win. Chihiro-kun has that much power now」
 
 After hearing this, Chihiro doesn’t understand.
 He wanted to ask her directly, but the situation did not allow it.
 Due to that, he had no choice but to remain silent.
 Still, Suzu continued to tell him that he can win the fight, and about the secret to victory.
 
 And then...
 
「Start!」
 
 Kaname’s voice rang out just as the hasty explanation was about to end.
 Both of them start moving at the same time.
 Kamishiro moved forward. And Chihiro is almost immobile, ready to intercept. His eyes are fixed on his opponent.
 
 As usual, Kamishiro’s movement was very straightforward.
 His straight gaze tells him his intention, a straight right punch after jumping into the arena. This allowed Chihiro to prepare for his attack with a little time to spare.
 
 Well, predicting attacks by [Mind Reading] is a double-edged sword.
 Being able to read the opponent’s movement is a very powerful power by itself, but in reality, there is a lag time between reading the opponent’s intention and reacting to it.
 As it is now, it is no problem when there is a certain distance between him and his opponent, but when it comes to a close combat, it is often better not to use it.
 Still, he is thankful to be able to use it.
 
 To intercept Kamishiro’s attack, Chihiro chose to throw a straight right punch, the same as Kamishiro’s. He pulls his right leg slightly, steps forward strongly, and throws his fist toward Kamishiro who is coming toward him.
 The timing is just right.
 It seems that Kamishiro’s side seems to have matched the right hand. Both fists hit other’s left shoulder cleanly. Then, at the same time, Chihiro’s right fist also aches from the recoil of the overpowered blow.
 
「Kuh!」
 
 Kamishiro’s expression was distorted for a moment. The attack has taken effect.
 He takes a step backward, keeping his eyes on Chihiro, while he plans his next attack, and moves quickly to take action.
 A kick to the middle with the left leg.
 Chihiro chooses to evade this time. He tries to move backward with a half-jumping, but then, he feels a resistance. His left leg stepped on the long skirt of the maid’s uniform.
 
「Oh, no」
 
 He hurriedly lifted his arm to guard against the kick.
 Kamishiro looked apologetic, but quickly adjusted the distance between himself and Chihiro, and launched a kick. Instantly, a heavy weight was placed on Chihiro’s arm.
 But using the impact, Chihiro retreats this time.
 
**b
(...no good)
 
 The maid’s suit is harder to move than his thought.
 It is natural, since the clothes are not made for intense movements, so the range of movement of the arms is a little narrower, and the skirt gets in the way. The skirt also flutters as he moves, and if he is not careful, he may end up stepping on it as he mentioned earlier.
 Maybe if he had learned jiu-jutsu or naginata, he could handled it as if it were a hakama.
 
(But what should I do?)
 
 He thinks impatiently, but he can’t come up with any solution.
 Would it be different if he were a real girl, such as Aika? Even they may not have experienced fighting in skirts, but he has a feeling that it would be somewhat different.
 
(If so, why don’t I fight in "Chisato mode"?)
 
 Is that possible?
 He has no idea what to expect, but he has no other plan, so he decides to give it a try.
 With this, while preventing, parrying, and dodging Kamishiro’s attacks, he desperately tries to calm down. He shifts his thought base from Izumi Chihiro to Misumi Chisato, and switches his movements, tracing his feminine thoughts.
 
(It’s all right)
 
 Suddenly, a voice sounded in his mind.
 It says, "It’s allright", "I can fight a little better than you".
 To this voice, Chihiro listens and surrenders his heart.
 
「Yes!」
 
 He exhaled and threw a kick from behind.
 He swung his foot, feeling that he was tracing the movements of his beloved Aika, and his shoe slipped past Kamishiro’s guard and went into his torso.
 Unfortunately, it is a bit shallow.
 But it is still a good shot. Just keep moving and don’t be pessimistic.
 
「...this」
 
 Kamishiro is stunned.
 He probably didn’t expect that the kick could not be prevented. It was thanks to the long skirt that served as a good distraction and timing disruption. Neither Chihiro nor Kamishiro had any experience of fighting against a skirted opponent.
 Well, this is not a secret, but just a matter of getting on the playing field.
 
 From this kick, the plan might work.
 Chihiro just changed his mind, but he has surprisingly improved his movement. This way, he can fight.
 
 And the back-and-forth battle continued.
 Chihiro took a hit-and-run style as much as possible, keeping a distance from Kamishiro and attacking when he was close to him. In this way, Chihiro could utilize [Mind Reading] as much as possible, and at the same time, he made it difficult for Kamishiro to rush by turning his back to the spectator’s seats.
 Also, the risk of dealing with fast feints is considerably reduced.
 As a result of the combination of several situations, the fight is barely balanced.
 
 Although both fighters fought each other mainly with bare hands and striking techniques, Chihiro’s maid uniform gradually became tattered as he exchanged many attacks with Kamishiro. Fortunately, the thick fabric for autumn did not tear so much as to show his underwear.
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